Courtesy of Alexandra Breckenridge
1. Bride-share! Find a like-minded bride-to-be, and go in with her on bulk purchases like favors and paper (for invites).
2. As an alternative to floral centerpieces, decorate with unusual items like fabric poms and paper flowers. Collect something fun, like vintage creamers? Show it off at the bash.
3. Don't rent or buy new tableware. Go to a flea market and pick up mismatched china, flatware, and Mason jars (for glasses). After the wedding, you'll be set for dinner parties!
4. Forgo expensive linen rentals. Opt for money-saving fabrics like burlap, muslin, or gingham. Cut them to measure with pinking shears to dress tables on the cheap.
5. Not wedded to linen? Use inexpensive kraft paper for tablecloths. Place crayons and markers in jam jars so your guests can doodle during dinner.
6. Skip table numbers by assigning each table a color, then covering it with DIY cloths (see #4) in that shade.
7. Veto traditional wedding flowers (roses, orchids), and try inexpensive picks like moss, cotton, baby's breath, or herbs.
8. Go picnic-chic: Make a dinner care package for your guests, featuring gourmet sandwiches and yummy sides--you'll save big on catering and waitstaff bills.
9. Nix printed menus at every place setting in favor of a few large chalkboard menus in the dining area. To save even more, create your own using plywood and chalkboard paint.
10. Edit your wedding wish list. Prioritize what you and your fiance really want (e.g., small-batch bourbon) instead of what other people say you need (a string quartet).
—Dana LaRue, The Broke Ass Bride